Fred Hose

Fred Hose lives in Pretoria, South Africa, where he is self-employed and does contract engineering work. He loves impressionistic paintings and writes novels, short stories, essays and poems. The story of how he came to be a writer is a remarkable one, so let's allow him to tell it in his own words:

I was passionate and deeply involved in my engineering career and never dreamed of a career change. Eventually this career change came with a completely unforseen life change.

After we had been married for a mere six months, my wife fell to the ground while we were eating dinner. One look was enough for me to realise that something was seriously wrong. At the hospital she was diagnosed as having a tumour deep inside her brain. The operation was a failure and she lost her ability to move any part of her body.

During this time I came close to God as I searched for answers. I must have asked the question "why us?" thousands of times . . . until one night, I thought that I heard an answer. I did not hear words but I suddenly felt that I had received this knowledge: "Don't ask over and over 'why me' or 'why us'? Go out into the world and show compassion. Hold up a light for others."

I did not know what this meant and carried on with my work. Something was different. I had lost the great enthusiasm that I once had.

Two years later, while under anaesthesia after an operation, I received a message again. This time it was as clear as if illuminated in bright lights. I knew that I had to resign from my job and begin writing. I had to write about love and joy. About soaring spirits and about deep inner happiness. I had been asked to show the world that there was a beautiful and exciting way of living. One had only to open one's eyes to see it. One had only to open one's heart to experience it.

Erato by Plato

Off I went.
Hell bent.
Through lost-way muddles
And marshy puddles.

Then ricocheting down a mountain side
Ending up with a lacerated hide,
I slid down to the end of the Globe
At the feet of a man in a Platonic robe.

Said he, if naught else, take this in:
A woman's beauty is within.
I whispered, 'tis true, there is no doubt,
But it's her beauty within that I'm without.

Mona Lisa

Captivated by your subdued smile,
I search for the source of your pleasure.
Your clothes are of a simple style
Not worn by ladies of leisure.

I see how your eyes eternally wander.
They follow wherever I go.
They reflect a mischievous glint
Caused by some secret you know.

Your lips stay sealed,
Your hands don稚 show,
All I see is that trace of a smile . . .
But alas, it痴 time to go.

I Am the Thief

I am the thief
Who comes to you
And steals the moment
Of your deepest longing.
In one blink of an eye.
As the sun says adieu
I steal that brief time
When mauve turns blue
But I leave in its place
The stir of new love.

Yet I知 also the giver
Who presents to you
A glimmer of hope
Just as doubt arises.
I知 not a great Caesar,
Merely the minstrel who plays
The softest mandolin
In soft romantic ways
Or the man on the bus
Who turns to smile
Just when a smile is needed.

I知 also your peer
Who follows your words
By savoring them deep
In the depths of my heart.
I知 the one who nods
As I see you at play
When I see your thoughts dance
Across your shining face.
Yes, I am the one who hears
The inner beat of your heart.

I Saw My Grandmother Dancing

I can稚 look at you, dear Granma.
There are tears in my eyes
I saw you dancing in the garden.
How did you learn that dance?

I saw the gleam in your gray eyes
Were you recalling an old romance?
Is that why I heard you sing?
Where were you Grannie, where?

Tell me young Jossie, did you feel it too?
Do you feel the same longing in your heart?
Do you too dream of a distant land?
Is there a deep yearning, in your heart?

Oh dearest child, you値l go to Halak.
You値l get there by plane and cart.
Oh, how my family will rejoice.
A wandering child come home.

Go over the mountains, to the open sand.
Hola hola, they値l teach you to dance.
They値l make you see your roots,
The primal source of all your tears.

Come, let me show you how to move.
Your feet, your hands and your shoulders.
Come turn and show me your bright eyes.
Take my love to Halak. Kiss the soil just once.

                                *  *  *

Ha, there you stand with collar and tie.
You致e come to Halak to learn to dance?
Do you really want to play
With city shoes, in my sand?

Look at you, my big town Mister.
With a fine coat worth twenty cows.
Let me walk around you and look.
Hai hai, trousers straight and edges sharp.

Aha, I see the fire in your eyes.
Coat and tie fly through the air.
Oh my, now your feet are bare!
Come, feel the sands warm touch.

Hey, city man, can you learn to move
When fiddles play and tambourines ching?
So city man, it痴 you and me now.
So throw up your arms to heaven.

Oi oi, your moves are good.
You池e more than what you seem.
Hey hey, Grandma taught you well.
Queen of dancing, that once was here.

There you go, you leap and stride,
As you turn, your feet can dance?
A hand held high and one on hip?
Oh city man, rejoice that you致e come home!

Oh, now I no longer need to teach.
Hai hai, we値l learn to teach each other.
Oh yes, it痴 arms, legs, hips and eyes.
Yorri yorri, let the music play.

Before They Ask Me to Dance

I look past noses, cheeks and ears,
Blinded by prismatic lights
Reflected from gems and eyes.
I see hazes from cheroots and hot vapors,
From flaming thoughts and steamed up dancers.

I blink my disconsolate eyes
Kaleidoscoped by glaring hues
From purple walls to mascara壇 cheeks.
Lips too red and brows too plucked,
My senses stuped by facade faces.

I look past noses, cheeks and ears
And see but one face left unducoed,
The only eyes not blurred nor bloodied
Nor unfocused like those of market fish.
I reach up my arms like flash arrestors.

Then watch the red sea of bodies part.
My face tingled by quasar neutrons
Into glowing like a disco'd spot
I cross over her line of control,
My Geiger in a crackling frenzy.

My words are straight from Love for Dummies
I sing a song from Mussel Shoals,
In a voice of pure wire-fenced Dylan.

I see that when the wind blows East,
The haze lifts and reveals her face
But when the wind gusts West,
Her fragrance cuts through smoke.

She speaks with softest murmurs
All she needs are those secret words
Written down on plagioclase
Left of the ancient Applethorn tree,
By the shores of some blue mystic lake.

"Find these words.
Say them to me.
Unlock my heart.
Find them while my eyes can see.
Say them before I'm asked to dance."